Bill's Media Releases

Helping more Australians with intellectual disability find work

More than 700 Australians with intellectual disability can get more help to find and keep a job in open employment with an extra $5.5 million from the Australian Government.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten and Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis said the funding will provide further incentives and support to help Disability Employment Service providers better assist Australians with intellectual disability.

“We believe every Australian should be able to benefit from the economic security, sense of achievement and dignity that comes with having a job,” Mr Shorten said.

“We know Australians with disability, and intellectual disability in particular, face extra hurdles when it comes to finding work.

“The payments we announce today are a practical way of ensuring that disability employment services providers have the incentives and the extra support they need to help more Australians with intellectual disability find work and make their valuable and unique contribution to our economy and our community.”

The Supporting Australians with an Intellectual Disability program provides Disability Employment Service providers with an additional 88 per cent loading on Job Placement and Outcome Fees when they place a job seeker with moderate intellectual disability in employment above their assessed minimum hours per week for 13 weeks, and another fee for a placement of longer than 26 weeks. Providers will be able to claim up to an additional $12,971 on top of standard Job Placement and Outcome Fees for supporting a highly disadvantaged person with moderate intellectual disability to stay in a job that lasts at least 26 weeks. 

This Budget measure is based on a trial which commenced in July 2010 which found that these types of incentives can enhance the rates of employment outcomes for job seekers with moderate intellectual disability, and can assist these job seekers to obtain employment at a higher rate than their benchmark, which is usually eight hours a week, if they have access to higher levels of support to get them job ready.

Ms Ellis said this incentive builds on the massive changes already made to improve services that help Australians with disability find work.

“One of the most important reforms undertaken by this Government was to abolish caps and quotas from the disability employment system – unlocking the skills and abilities of Australians with disability, and boosting our economy,” Ms Ellis said.

“As a result of recent reforms, job seekers will benefit from a 50 per cent increase in the number of Employment Support Service sites across the country, bringing the total number to over 1,650.

Mr Shorten said there had been a 46 per cent increase in the number of people receiving employment support services and job placements had doubled since the Government uncapped services for people with disability.

“The bottom line is that this Government’s reforms have seen more than 150,000 Australians with disability helped into a job,” Mr Shorten said.

“Improving Disability Employment Services is part of the Government’s commitment to disability reform and builds on the National Disability Insurance Scheme – DisabilityCare.” 

Mr Shorten’s Media Contact: Sam Casey 0421 697 660

Ms Ellis’ Media Contact: Joshua Cooney 0428 300 514